Al Iaquinta x Jorge Masvidal Full Fight UFC Fight Night 63 Part 1
- Posted on Mar 25, 2019
- 2804 views
Jorge Masvidal has the right to be upset at the outcome of his fight on Saturday. He left UFC Fight Night 63 with only his second defeat in the Octagon. However, his anger should be pointed at only one individual, and that person is himself. He competed well for most of his battle with Al Iaquinta, but the split-decision defeat soured his moment. Masvidal sadly put himself in this position once he got the judges involved.
Iaquinta needed a split decision in order to hand Masvidal his second defeat since moving to the UFC. According to MMA Decisions, Douglas Crosby awarded the fight 30-27 to Masvidal, while Dave Tirelli and Cardo Urso saw the fight 29-28 for Iaquinta.
Both Masvidal and Iaquinta expressed disbelief in the victory, but they did so in different ways. Masvidal ran from the cage in disgust, while Iaquinta yelled at the crowd for booing the decision.
This is the type of fight that shines a light on the unified rules of mixed martial arts—the never-ending debate as to what is more important. Damage and aggression played an important part in this fight. Iaquinta was clearly the more aggressive fighter, but Masvidal severely damaged him early in the bout. Blood poured from Iaquinta’s face from a gash under his eye for much of the bout.
According to FightMetric, Masvidal was much more accurate in the battle as well. He landed 48 percent of his strikes (83 of 170) compared to Iaquinta’s 35 percent (55 of 153). Masvidal peppered the New York native with left jabs and body kicks, while Iaquinta continued to press forward to attack.
The confusion of this bout surrounds the second round, where it seems that Masvidal took his foot off the gas. He had his opponent badly hurt at the end of the first round but seemed content to circle and jab in Round 2. In Round 3, Iaquinta was more aggressive, which caused many to lean toward giving him the round. However, the perception is not the statistical truth.
According to the round-by-round, report Masvidal increased his output in each round. He threw 45 strikes in Round 1, 51 in Round 2 and 74 in Round 3. He landed more blows and attempted more than Iaquinta in the last two rounds. Still, many believe that he relaxed in a sense that cost him the fight.
“That fight would have been fight of the night, but I think he took the second round off,” Iaquinta said during the post-fight press conference. “He coasted the last two rounds.”
Much of the MMA media discussed the potential for a controversial decision once the bout was over.
Masvidal clearly did not agree with how the judges scored the battle at the end of the night. In an interview with John Morgan of MMA Junkie, he relayed his feelings to the public.
“I feel I won that fight from the bottom of my heart,” Masvidal said during the post-fight press conference (video via MMA Fighting). “I’m not looking for a rematch or anything because I feel like I won that fight.”
UFC President Dana White has a famous quote in which he told fighters “Don’t leave it to the judges.” There are multiple examples in which fighters have walked out of the cage with a defeat when they, media experts and much of the public feel they have won. Masvidal is right to be incensed with professional judges who give questionable scores, but with the way he fought the second and third rounds, it is tough to place the blame solely on them.